I feel like there’s a fundamental misunderstanding about driving.

First of all, there seems to be a general consensus that everyone deserves to drive. This belief is much more pronounced here than in Japan (or in Europe, from what I’ve heard) because the barrier to entry (cost and skill) is so much lower here. I think there are many places in the States where you cannot live without a car, which doesn’t help this situation.

Secondly, there seems to be an attitude of “If I need to get somewhere and this is what my GPS tells me, I deserve to be able to take this route.” Every single day, I see so many people crossing over solid whites, crossing over double-yellows, making u-turns in a manner that obstructs the flow of traffic.

Today, I got stuck behind someone on the freeway who had completely stopped in the “slow” lane next to the exit lane because she wanted to exit and nobody was letting her in. She had had a half a mile to move over, but waited until the very end, and then simply stopped with her turn signal on despite the flow of traffic in that lane being at full speed. I beeped my horn at her and waved my arm in a “Get out of the way” motion, and she gesticulated back to say, “Well, what am I supposed to do?” Well, since you’re in a very unsafe situation, you’re supposed to keep going to the next exit and turn around if you missed your chance to exit. You’ve known for the last half-mile that the exit lane is moving at a stop-and-go pace. If you can’t merge in at a safe highway speed, then you cannot exit here.

…I’m not crazy, am I?

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